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s/o "what you wish" How do you cope with burnout?


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I've never heard of the five year burnout, thankfully we're on year six so I must have missed it. :001_huh::lol:

 

I did notice last year that mid February is a tough time for us. I'm researching and planning for the next fall, we tend to get on each others nerves more. So this year I scheduled a week long break smack in the middle of February.

 

If we're getting to the point of overload I either schedule a day off or change the scenery. Last spring we did many school days outside. Other things we have done to change up the routine are:

 

- go to the park after doing a few core subjects

- take the schoolwork to the park

- go hike at the state park and do nature study

- plug in some educational DVDs and hang out in front of the TV

- have an art day. Get out all the art stuff and make a mess

- have a science day. My son loves experiments so we do a few without thinking about completing a report.

- have a crazy week. We've taken a week and focused only on those subjects that never seem to get done. Mostly art, music, more reading

- yesterday we did one subject and then took an extended field trip with dad

- cut myself and ds some slack. We're together all the time, we're going to have bad days. Sometimes it's prudent to work through it and keep schooling, sometimes it's time to quit for the day and just be a family.

 

 

I've never had burnout for more than a few days. We have clearly defined goals for my son's education, I know the pros and cons of why I do what I do. I guess that is what keeps me going, I know where I want us to end up, just not sure what the journey will look like along the way.

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My burnout was medical - high doses of vitamin D helped - esp. in February.

 

Also - I realized around year 5 (when I was starting my second 4 year rotation in history and nothing was brand new anymore) - that it's ok for things not to be a fresh and new adventure each year. Now I have a more quiet steady routine approach to my homeschool.

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We haven't experienced the five-year burnout because we're too new. Oh, that would be a double whammy, wouldn't it? Burnout the same year TheKid turns 14. :tongue_smilie:

 

February doldrums I can relate to. That was an issue way before we started homeschooling. So we just plan for a break of any kind, and some years it's bigger than others. Last year, we got to go on a roadtrip to the Southwest and to see family. Most years, it's a day trip to the "big city" for museums and lunch. We've even driven just 8 miles down the road to the hotel for an overnighter. By the time we swim in the little cold pool, run on the crappy treadmill, and amuse ourselves with the waffle maker at breakfast, we are connected again as a family and ready to head back to real life.

 

We already know February is our least favorite month around here, so we schedule a break and then have it to look forward to. Makes a big difference in our attitudes around here in January.

 

I noticed that I also experiment with new, healthy recipes around that time of year. And for schooling, I will throw in something new to the mix. Probably geography related, because it's a passion for both of us. Again, just anything at all to look forward to and get the blood flowing to the brain again.

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Apparently my 5-year burnout was delayed to this year (our 7th-ish).

 

I figured out how to overcome the February burnout, though (at least for us). We changed our school year so we run from mid-July through mid-November then take off Thanksgiving through New Years. Then we run school again Mid-January through mid-May. Then we're off again until mid-July. I was finding that our Feb. burnout was really a delayed burnout/letdown of the holiday craziness, so just taking time to prepare for, enjoy, then recoup from the holidays as they come made a *huge* difference.

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I did go through burnout this last year, which was my 5th year of homeschooling. I have been very excited about homeschooling, researching curricula, learning methods, etc. for years and that is where I put most of my focus. I think I should have tried to keep up with some of my other interests instead of letting everything go to homeschooling.

 

But, the main reason I suffered burnout was that I had been using a lot of programs that were very teacher-intensive and I was working directly with one of my 2 kids for about 5 hours a day. I am simply not cut out for that and the stress was overwhelming for me. I'm glad for those who can teach that way and flourish, but it is not something I am capable of doing. I wish I was.

 

My solution was to completely take the summer off from teaching the kids. They still worked independently on a couple of things, but I kept it light. I also moved them to more independent work for this school year and I intend to continue to run things this way, outsourcing classes as needed. I am still reading all the SL books to my kids and having discussions with them and I am available the entire time they are doing their work to answer questions and help out, but I am not teaching the whole morning and this has been a revolutionary change for the better for both me and the kids.

 

Another huge change I made this year was to grade the kids' papers in the evening instead of immediately when they finish. I never would have imagined what a difference this could make. This has enabled me to be much more positive with them and it keeps me from feeling like I'm just waiting for them to finish something so I can correct it and then waiting again while they fix their errors.

 

Lastly, I have scheduled a week-long break at least every 6 weeks. I'm starting to realize how important this is because I'm able to get a different perspective on things when I step back and take some time off.

 

If I had not made these changes, I don't imagine I would have been able to continue homeschooling much longer. I love having my children home with me, so I am very happy with how things are going now.

 

Lisa

Edited by LisaTheresa
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